Eagles recruit Ramos ready to spread his wings for PH
By the time Gilas Pilipinas tips off against Indonesia on Sunday for the first window of the Fiba Asia Cup qualifying match, Dwight Ramos will be the only player in its roster still in the lineup of a collegiate squad.
And the 21-year-old Ramos, who was born in California to a Filipino dad and a Russian mom, is the most surprised by the development.
“I really didn’t think I’d be playing for the national team this soon,” Ramos told the Inquirer. “I was already excited to be part of the pool. Now I’m part of the lineup and I’m ‘oof!’”
Ramos, a part of Chot Reyes’ “23 for 2023” selection that was assembled in 2018, said he had been pouring his energy on preparing for his debut in the UAAP, where he is set to reinforce Ateneo, before the national team call-up came.
“Until the announcement, it’s all been about preparation and getting ready,” he said. “This is something that I didn’t expect, for sure.”
Ramos has been working on the double for the Blue Eagles and the national team pool. He looked tireless during Gilas training on Friday, despite coming from a 79-61 rout of Letran in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League just an hour earlier.
The 6-foot-5 guard bolsters a Gilas crew which will be lead by World Cup veteran Kiefer Ravena and six other professionals. He will be one of five amateurs in the club, including two who were already drafted into the PBA but have yet to see action in the pro league.
Ramos said he knows his place pretty well in the squad, being the youngest and the most untested in the bunch.
“I don’t see myself as a star or anything,” he said. “I just got here and I haven’t done anything. So I’m just looking to go out there and play my hardest and soak as much experience as I can.”
Ramos has already done his homework.
“I’ve watched a lot of clips on YouTube—seeing how the games here are and stuff. I watched the SEA Games, too, so I’m kind of familiar how the games are played.”
“But I know it’s a different thing once you’re actually playing,” he added.
More importantly, he is fully aware of the responsibility of representing the country.
“Just wearing that practice jersey, you feel like, ‘whoa.’ Putting on the real thing now? I’m going to give it my best.”
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